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NBA News & Notes: Orlando fires GM Hennigan

Chris Paul & Paul George named NBA Players of the Month

The Clippers' Chris Paul and the Pacers' Paul George were named the NBA's Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

George averaged an NBA-high 32.8 points and added 8.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists as the Pacers went 5-1 in April to clinch a playoff spot for the sixth time in seven seasons.  He scored at least 30 points in four of six games, including a season-high 43 points in a 135-130 double-overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 2.  The 26-year-old forward shot 54.8 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from three-point range for the month.  He also finished third in the NBA in steals with 2.17 per game.  George and the Pacers will visit the Cavaliers on Saturday, April 15 for Game 1 of a first-round postseason series (3 p.m. ET, ABC).  

Paul led the Clippers to a 5-0 month behind averages of 21.2 points, 9.8 assists (fourth in the NBA) and 5.0 rebounds, helping LA clinch the fourth seed in the Western Conference and secure home-court advantage against the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs.  The 31-year-old guard shot 54.4 percent from the field and 52.6 percent from three-point range and went 22-for-22 from the free throw line in April.  He finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a 98-87 road win against the San Antonio Spurs on April 8.

The Clippers, who have made the playoffs a franchise-record six consecutive seasons since acquiring Paul, will host the Jazz in Game 1 on April 15 (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, the Clippers’ Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Utah’s Gordon Hayward.

Doc Rivers and Nate McMillan named NBA Coaches of the Month

The Indiana Pacers’ Nate McMillan and the LA Clippers’ Doc Rivers were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

McMillan guided the Pacers to a 5-1 record during April, tied for the best mark in the Eastern Conference.  Indiana closed the month and the regular season with five consecutive victories to secure the seventh playoff seed in the East.  For the month, the Pacers ranked third in the NBA in scoring (115.5 ppg) and fourth in field goal percentage (50.1) and point differential (plus-11.7).  Indiana’s only defeat was a 135-130 double-overtime loss to its first-round postseason opponent, the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Game 1 of the series is Saturday, April 15 at 3 p.m. ET on ABC.

Behind Rivers, the Clippers went 5-0 in April to finish as the NBA’s only undefeated team for the month and extend their regular-season-ending winning streak to seven games.  LA outscored its opponents by a league-best 16.4 points per game and led the NBA in field goal percentage (51.5).  On the final day of the regular season, the Clippers defeated the Sacramento Kings 115-95 to clinch the fourth playoff seed in the Western Conference.  The Clippers will host the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of their first-round series on April 15 at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.  

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month were Boston’s Brad Stevens, Chicago’s Fred Hoiberg, Denver’s Michael Malone, Golden State’s Steve Kerr, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Luke Walton, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, Portland’s Terry Stotts, Toronto’s Dwane Casey and Utah’s Quin Snyder.

Clippers 2017 Playoffs Schedule 

Game 1 – UTA at LAC April 15 7:30 p.m. PT Prime Ticket/ESPN KEIB AM 1150 / KWKW 1330AM
Game 2 – UTA at LAC April 18 7:30 p.m. PT Prime Ticket/TNT KEIB AM 1150 / KWKW 1330AM
Game 3 – LAC at UTA April 21 7:00 p.m. PT Prime Ticket/ESPN2 KEIB AM 1150 / KWKW 1330AM
Game 4 – LAC at UTA April 23 6:00 p.m. PT Prime Ticket/TNT KEIB AM 1150 / KWKW 1330AM
Game 5* – UTA at LAC April 25 TBD Prime Ticket KEIB AM 1150 / KWKW 1330AM
Game 6*– LAC at UTA April 28 TBD Prime Ticket KEIB AM 1150 / KWKW 1330AM
Game 7* – UTA at LAC April 30 TBD Prime Ticket KEIB AM 1150 / KWKW 1330AM*if necessary

Orlando dismisses GM Rob Hennigan

After multiple losing seasons, the Orlando Magic have dismissed Rob Hennigan as general manager, CEO Alex Martins announced today.  In addition, Matt Lloyd has been named interim general manager and will be a candidate for the position permanently.

“We appreciate Rob’s efforts to rebuild the team, but feel we have not made any discernible improvement over the last few years specifically.  It's time for different leadership in basketball operations.  We certainly wish Rob and his family well,” said Martins. “Matt brings solid experience and his appointment as general manager on an interim basis will allow us to seamlessly continue our preparations for the upcoming draft.”

Hennigan was named general manager on June 20, 2012.  Orlando’s record during his tenure was 132-278 (.322), the second-worst in the NBA over that span.

Lloyd was named assistant general manager of the Magic on June 29, 2012.  He came to Orlando after spending 13 years with the Chicago Bulls, his last five as their director of college scouting.  In that position, Lloyd oversaw the scouting and information compilation of prospects for the NBA Draft, along with statistical analysis of pro and amateur players.  He implemented and maintained a database which organized scouting information.

Willy Hernangomez and Tyler Ulis named NBA Rookies of the Month

The New York Knicks’ Willy Hernangomez and the Phoenix Suns’ Tyler Ulis were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

Hernangomez, the 35th pick in NBA Draft 2015 presented by State Farm, led all Eastern Conference rookies in rebounding (8.5 rpg) and ranked second in scoring (12.5 ppg).  He was also fourth in assists (3.0 apg), steals (1.17 spg) and field goal percentage (49.2).  The 6-11 center from Spain scored in double figures in four of six games and recorded two double-doubles.  On April 9, Hernangomez matched his career highs with 24 points, five assists and three steals and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 110-97 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Ulis, the 34th pick in NBA Draft 2016 presented by State Farm, paced all rookies with 20.7 points and 6.8 assists per game.  The 5-10 guard, who shot 48.5 percent from the field for the month, scored at least 20 points in four of six games.  On April 2, he registered the highest-scoring game by a rookie this season, finishing with 34 points to go with nine assists and a career-high nine rebounds in a 123-116 loss to the Houston Rockets.  Ulis also posted 20 points and 10 assists in a 124-111 win over the Dallas Mavericks on April 9.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were Brooklyn’s Caris LeVert, Denver’s Jamal Murray, Detroit’s Henry Ellenson, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Brandon Ingram, New Orleans’ Cheick Diallo, Philadelphia’s Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Dario Saric, Phoenix’s Marquese Chriss and Sacramento’s Buddy Hield and Skal Labissiere.

NBA sets attendance record

The NBA set the all-time regular-season attendance record for a third consecutive season with 21,997,412 fans attending games during the 2016-17 regular season.  The new record eclipses last year’s total of 21,972,129.

Additionally, the NBA established a new regular-season attendance record for average attendance (17,884), eclipsing the previous high set last year.  This year also marked the 13th straight season that league attendance has been at least 90 percent or more of arena capacity (94 percent).

The 2016-17 regular season tied last year’s sellout record (723), marking the third consecutive year the league had 700 or more games sold out.
Paul George, Gerald Henderson fined

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George and Philadelphia 76ers guard Gerald Henderson have each been fined $25,000, it was announced by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

George has been fined for public criticism of the officiating following the Pacers' 120-111 win over the 76ers on Monday, April 10 at Wells Fargo Center.

Henderson has been fined for his Flagrant Foul 2, for throwing an elbow to the head of George with 2:59 remaining in the fourth quarter of the same game.

Stephen Curry tops NBA jersey sales

The Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry once again leads the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) list of most popular jerseys.  This marks the second consecutive regular season Curry has earned top honors on the jerseys list.  Rankings are based on sales since the beginning of the 2016-17 NBA season.

Rounding out the top five are the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (No. 2), the Warriors’ Kevin Durant (No. 3), the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook (No. 4) and the Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving (No. 5).

The Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas (No. 14) makes his debut on the list.

The Warriors remain No. 1 on the team merchandise list, followed by the Cavaliers at No. 2, the Chicago Bulls at No. 3, the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 4 and the New York Knicks at No. 5.

Top 15 Most Popular NBA Jerseys:                
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
James Harden, Houston Rockets
Dwyane Wade, Chicago Bulls
Derrick Rose, New York Knicks
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

Top 10 Most Popular Team Merchandise:

Golden State Warriors
Cleveland Cavaliers
Chicago Bulls
Lakers Los Angeles
New York Knicks
San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder
Boston Celtics
Toronto Raptors

Paul George & Russell Westbrook named NBA Players of the Week

The Indiana Pacers’ Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, April 3 through Sunday, April 9.

George paced the East in scoring (31.7 ppg) and tied for seventh in rebounding (9.0 rpg) while shooting 57.4 percent from the field as the Pacers went 3-0 for the week to climb into seventh place in the East with two games to play. On April 4, he scored 18 points in the third quarter to helped erase a 19-point deficit before finishing with 35 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals in a 108-90 victory over the Toronto Raptors. On April 6, he tallied 23 points, 10 rebounds and four steals in a 104-89 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Westbrook led the Thunder to a 3-1 week behind averages of 32.5 points (second in the West), 12.5 rebounds (third) and 10.3 assists (third). On April 9, he recorded his 42nd triple-double with 50 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists in a 106-105 victory over the Denver Nuggets, breaking Oscar Robertson’s 55-year-old record for most triple-doubles (41) in a season. It also marked the third time Westbrook scored 50 points in a triple-double this season. Westbrook also logged his 19th 40-point game of the season with 45 points in a 103-100 win against the Memphis Grizzlies on April 5.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Tim Hardaway Jr., Brooklyn’s Jeremy Lin, Golden State’s Klay Thompson, Houston’s James Harden, the LA Clippers’ Blake Griffin, Miami’s Hassan Whiteside, Phoenix’s Devin Booker, Portland’s Damian Lillard, and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.

D-League news

Maine Red Claws forward Abdel Nader was named the 2016-17 NBA Development League Rookie of the Year.

By Staff of and news services

This post first appeared on TheDailySportsHerald, please read the originial post: here

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NBA News & Notes: Orlando fires GM Hennigan


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